TRUE VINTAGE 1960’S SHIRTWAIST DRESS BY HENRY-LEE

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Made by the well-know vintage dressmaking company Henry Lee, it is a working-girl version of the classic shirtwaist dress which has looked just about the same since 1945.

A specialized treatment at the neck and faceted buttons elevate the style to a level above the standard house dress of 1962, but it’s still the same eternal design.  Dresses by Henry Lee were always carefully designed and well-made; one of those stand-by labels that women could always depend on.

Looks, to me, like a perfect back-to-school frock for a Sixties elementary school teacher or a secretary, the way they dressed back then.  It’s a little bit big for both Stella and me, so will probably find its way to eBay at some point, but I never resist taking rides Back to the Future . .. . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

1970’S COTTON SKIRT AND VEST BY MISTER LEONARD

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Just found this casual but classic 100% cotton plaid set in a beloved style from the mid-Seventies.  Mister Leonard was a popular Canadian clothing label started in 1965, making sportswear that sold in several major department stores.  It prospered until the late 1980’s and finally closed in 1999, due to market pressures and the declining health of it’s founder.

For Summer and into Fall, nothing could be more comfortable and cute than an ensemble like this, which could be worn everyday at home or tricked up a bit for work. Pure cotton clothing is always desirable, but the quality of this fabric sets it apart as well as tailoring details which are uncommon today.

Just my size, too!  Here’s another keeper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

FOUND YESTERDAY – CUTEST EVER 1950’S CLUTCH HANDBAG

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It was just a vinyl bargain bag at the time, but oh-so-sweet novelty for carrying with summer dresses.  This one may have come from the “five and dime”, but some girl loved it and it held up well over the years.  Plain zipper opening on top with a bit of bead chain to hold a key.  I’m off to the carnival!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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FABULOUS 1940’S DAY DRESS – ANOTHER FIND FROM THE WARTIME YEARS

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Love this frock!  They had such fun print designs then.  This one’s a bit atomic – hope they’re not supposed to be bombs.  The wide collar, sleeve cuffs, fabric-covered buttons and bronze color give unusual touches to this example.  The original belt would probably have been covered with the same material as the dress.

It’s got some stain damage down near the hem from bleach or a storage spill, but I don’t care.  Those kinds of accidents were so common in mid-century laundry rooms and have, unhappily, occurred also to many garments that were stored in basements along with chemicals and cans of paint.  As much as I love finding items that are in pristine condition, sometimes the little dings and dirt add a certain je ne sais quoi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY’

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

TRUE VINTAGE LATE ’60’S CLASSIC SHIRTWAIST DAY DRESS – POLY AND PLEATS

TRUE VINTAGE LATE '60'S CLASSIC SHIRTWAIST DAY DRESS - POLY AND PLEATS

Classic styling in the fave material of the late ’60’s and early ’70’s.  Poly synthetic that holds color and pleats so well (like forever).  Often called a “secretary dress” today, it’s a conservative style that goes everywhere in a normal day.  Sadly, as you can probably see, by the late 1960’s the quality is beginning to slide – but, it looks much better on a model and has some interesting vintage features making it a worthwhile buy.

I’d put a black belt on to wear and that will give it a really nice shape, as the skirt is fairly full and flippy.  Buxom Madge would put the Va-Voom in this style, but I haven’t taken a new picture with her yet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

IT’S TIME FOR MID-CENTURY COTTON DAY – DRESSES TO COME OUT OF THE CLOSET

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These fun and beautiful frocks are what EVERYBODY was wearing as everyday-wear between about 1935 and 1965.  The cottons are sturdy but wash and wear to a fabulous softness.  The colors are bright and the motif’s go from traditional floral or medallion prints (like the one here) to atomic geometrics and cartoon novelty images.

I absolutely cannot get enough of these!  The typical fit and flare styling is very forgiving, allowing  me a reasonable fit across about 3 sizes.  A belt can work wonders with almost any garment.  If shoulder pads are appropriate to the era, that makes a big difference, too.

With the exception of the Sixties shift style, this basic shirt-waist design is just about the most comfortable, practical and versatile for day-wear ever; still, it allows for elegance and the irreplaceable look of true vintage fashion.  I’ll keep showing more of these wonderful everyday styles, and whatever turns up.  Stay tuned . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

TRUE VINTAGE 1950s WIGGLE DRESS BY EVE LE COQ OF CALIFORNIA

TRUE VINTAGE 1950s WIGGLE DRESS BY EVE LE COQ OF CALIFORNIA FOR ST. PATRICK'S DAY

Here’s a line-up of wool dresses from the 1960s and 1950s, lightweight and classic enough to wear in some parts of the world in three seasons of the year.  Although I’m highlighting the second from the left, I’ll describe them all to start.

On the far left, a mid-weight jumper from the mid – late 1960s in a brown tweed.  Can’t recall the maker, but made in the U.S.  The bodice is lined and it is intended to be worn as a sleeveless dress or with a blouse underneath – your choice.  In the cold weather I’d probably want the blouse, but some people like their arms bare even in winter and that was a popular style then.  A cardigan sweater over would work, too.  Although it didn’t come with its own little jacket, sometimes sleeveless dresses did.  Great style for school or office.

Third in line is a straight, belted shift in heather blue by Pendleton.  They’ve been making quality wool clothing for decades and it is always classic.  This one from the late ’60s can also be worn alone or will a blouse or turtleneck.  Also perfect for school or work.  Some women would put this on as a day dress for shopping, meetings, etc.

On the far right is a wiggle sheath from the late ’50s.  Also a U.S. maker.  It is lined around the upper bodice and neck and is designed to be worn sleeveless.  It’s a simple, un-decorated design but would look best in the evening or at an after-work party or dinner.  It could have gone to work if dressed down a bit with a sweater or jacket.

Now for our star of the day – Are you looking for ideas about what to wear on St. Paddy’s Day?  Look no further.  This is a smart, figure-enhancing dress that is demure enough for any setting and also sophisticated enough for any.  It all depends on your accessories. In a lovely kelly/emerald green, it’s also a nice transition color into Spring.  Eve Le Coq of California produced lovely dresses – very chic.

It’s not been unusual for me to encounter these kinds of wool frocks at various places in my searches.  If you find yourself in a store, they are often marked down at this time of year.  Don’t let wool fabric discourage you – as long as you’ve got a breathable (well-ventilated) storage bag for moth season and a clothing brush, it’s easy to care for and can be dry-cleaned at home if there are no serious stains.  Very versatile, very vintage and worth the investment.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM